What dose of CBD oil do I use for my dog?
If you are wondering when and how to use CBD oil for your dog, you’re not alone! Luckily we have some controlled research to help guide us in our decision for dosing hemp and CBD products for dogs. (1, 2)
Based on the latest research about CBD use in dogs, we know that 1-2 milligrams per kilogram CBD is a good starting point for most dogs. Now, use the dog’s weight to determine how that might look:
Example: 45 pound border collie with joint pain. Divide 45lb by 2.2 and you get 20.45kg. 20-40milligrams of CBD would be appropriate.
To avoid conversion, you can use 0.45-0.9 milligrams per pound CBD. Multiply by the dogs weight (in this case, 45lb) and you will also get 20-40 milligrams of CBD per dose.
Importantly, you must know how many milligrams per milliliter (or bottle) is in your pet’s CBD product. Reputable companies should have mg/ml or total bottle mg count and volume right on the label. At VetCS, we make easy dosing instructions available on every bottle. Week 1 dose is 2mg/kg and Week 2+ dose is 1mg/kg.
Going back to the border collie, if you bought a 1200mg bottle of CBD oil and it’s total volume is 30ml, then that formula is 40mg/ml. We wanted 20-40mg CBD per dose, so you would give 0.5-1ml twice daily to help the joint pain. We often recommend the higher dosing amount (1ml in this case) for moderate to severe pain.
How often should you dose CBD? Research has shown that the half-life range in dogs given CBD oil is 3-4.2 hours. (3,4) That means dosing twice daily is best for your pup. However, when using CBD to relieve anxiety (car trips, thunderstorms, etc), simply dosing 30 minutes before an anticipated stressful event is all you need to give. For other conditions such as mobility issues, seizures, and decreased appetite, twice daily dosing is recommended to best help your dog.
Remember that dosing is dependent on condition as well. Dogs with anxiety typically respond to much lower doses of CBD (0.25-0.5mg/kg) than dogs continuing to have seizures despite numerous pharmaceuticals. In these instances, talking to your veterinarian is best with pets that are already on medications. Alternatively, our team at VetCS can help you determine dosing, just contact us by phone, email, or chat!
CBD Dosage for Dogs: How Much Should I Give My Dog?
Still not sure how to figure out how much CBD you should give your dog?
As a team of CBD aficionados and pet lovers obsessed with their puppies, we’ll be more than happy to help you find the right dose of cannabidiol (CBD) for your furry friend.
And if you’re here for the first time wondering why on earth we would even consider giving CBD to a dog, here’s a quick reminder:
Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, too – just like humans.
That being said, CBD, a powerful compound found in the cannabis plant, shows great potential as an alternative form of treatment for dogs, cats, and other pets that are struggling with a range of health conditions.
Finding the right dose of CBD can be tricky, as there are plenty of factors that can determine the effects it will have on your dog or cat.
We’ll cover all you need to know about dosing CBD for pets and walk you through the best dosage guidelines for different forms of CBD consumption.
Things to Consider Before Giving CBD to Your Dog
Figuring out the right CBD oil dosage for your dog can be a hard nut to crack, especially for pet owners who are just getting started with CBD for pets.
We’ll use dogs as an example because that’s where we have the most experience; however, the same guidelines apply to cats and other (mammalian) pets.
There are three essential factors to take into consideration prior to buying CBD for your pet:
1. Consumption Method
One of the factors that determine how much CBD you will give your dog is the type of product you use, along with the brand you’re using.
CBD products for dogs come in 4 main forms:
- CBD and Hemp oil
- Topical rubs
- Treats (edibles)
CBD and hemp oils are by far the best option for dogs as they offer the highest bioavailability. This means that less CBD is needed to produce the effects you want.
However, not every dog will like the distinct taste of CBD oil, so if that’s the case, CBD dog treats would do the trick.
Not only will they taste better – imagine flavors like Chicken & Bacon or Roasted Duck – but they also come with a fixed CBD dose.
This way, you know exactly how much CBD you’re giving your dog.
However, there’s one downside to using CBD dog treats:
They’re much slower.
The cannabinoids in the treats need to pass through your dog’s digestive system to make it into the bloodstream. This means the effects will have a slower onset time than oils and your dog may receive less CBD overall.
The same applies to CBD capsules for dogs, but capsules just aren’t as enjoyable for the dogs as the treats.
The benefits of capsules, however, are that they have a higher fixed dose, and are more reliable in the level of effects they’ll produce.
2. Your Pet’s Size
It’s no surprise that the CBD dosage for vary depending on your dog’s size. But how do I determine what dose is correct?
The general rule is that larger dogs need more CBD to experience the effects than smaller puppies. Some brands provide their own dosage charts based on the weight of your dog. This makes dosing easier from the start.
Keep reading to learn specific dosage guidelines depending on the size of your dog.
3. The Severity of Your Dog’s Condition
Finally, keep in mind that your dog’s condition can also affect how much CBD should you give him/her.
The more severe the condition, the higher the dose they’ll likely need to alleviate the discomfort.
If you want to supplement your dog with CBD oil, low doses will usually suffice, but for anxiety or joint pain, you’ll need to increase the dosage and observe the effects until you hit the sweet spot.
General CBD Dosage Guidelines For Dogs
For general supplementation or mild conditions, the exact amount of drops in a CBD oil to meet the estimated dosage will vary between products.
In general, 2-4 drops taken two to four times a day are recommended.
You can also adjust the dosage, based on the size of your pet and his/her condition we’ve just talked about.
A CBD capsule, in turn, will contain between 5-20 mg of CBD each. The dose of encapsulated CBD is around 1 tablet taken once or twice per day.
As for pet treats, they will vary in concentrations of CBD.
Always check if your CBD company provides dosing instructions at the back of the package. If it does, it’s best to follow the instructions.
Actually, regardless of the product you use, we always recommend following the dosage instructions that came with it and based on this, adjust the dose as needed.
We recommend starting at the low end of the dose, and increasing gradually once you know how your dog will respond.
How to Figure Out How Much CBD You Should Give to Your Dog By Size
To make it easy for you, we’ll break down exactly how to choose the right dose for your dog based on their size (measured in weight).
Some people prefer to use a very small dose, no matter what size their dog is and working up from there.
A rough starting dose to do this is 1 mg.
This allows you to gradually work your way up the optimal dose without wasting too much CBD oil in the process.
Even large dogs are about ⅓ the size of average humans, so considering that in humans, the jumping-off point is around 1-3 mg, the above figure makes sense.
To begin with, let’s discuss how much CBD you should give to your dog, based on relative weight.
1. Small (2-15 lbs)
Extra small dogs will need the least amount of CBD, which may sound relieving at first.
But there’s a catch.
Tiny dogs have a super-fast metabolism!
You will need to increase the frequency of CBD administration to 3-4 doses per day, instead of 1 or 2 with larger dogs.
If your dog is suffering from pain, the starting CBD dose of 1 mg may be enough for the beginning.
For behavioral conditions like dogs with anxiety, we recommend measuring out ½ mg worth of oil and adding a couple of drops if you don’t see any improvement for the next 3-5 days of use.
As for a routine, it’s best to start by administering CBD twice daily.
Each time you want to increase the dosage, you can do it in 2 mg increments until your dog finds some relief.
Nevertheless, try not to exceed 15 mg CBD doses in extra small dogs.
Remember that these are all relative figures, and should not be taken as medical advice or as a veterinary recommendation.
2. Medium-Small (15 – 30 lbs)
Having done in-depth research on different CBD dosages for medium dogs, we’ve noticed that many people achieve success with a 2 mg dose, and increasing by 3 mg until they get some results
This data refers to dogs suffering from pain and arthritis.
For psychological conditions and poor appetite, try using half the dose above (1 mg of CBD).
For most medium sized dogs this should do the trick.
Dog owners who want to help their friends with anxiety are recommended to increase doses by no more than 2 mg, keeping mind that they shouldn’t exceed 2 doses per day.
The maximum dose of CBD for a dog of this size is about 20 mg per day.
Like we said before, larger dogs require more CBD to experience the desired effects.
What’s an appropriate initial dose of CBD for dogs with general pain?
It’s generally believed that a 1-3 mg dose of CBD is a good starting point, depending on the level of the pain.
If you’re not seeing the results you want to try increasing by 3 mg.
For behavioral conditions (lack of focus), psychological disorders (panic, anxiety), and poor appetite, the recommended initial dose is 1 mg twice a day.
Make sure to keep a watchful eye on your dog’s behavior to notice if the effects of CBD are kicking in.
If not, increase the dose by no more than 2 mg.
The maximum dose for CBD for a dog of this size is about 30 mg per day.
4. Large (60 – 150 lbs)
Owners of large dogs should follow the same general recommendations as for medium-large dogs.
With very large dogs, you can expect to have a much higher dose, however, it’s best to work your way up slowly by 3 mg per dose until you find signs of relief.
Getting The Dose Right With Different CBD Products
So now that you know the mg of CBD you should use on your dog or cat, you may be wondering how this applies to different CBD products.
After all, not all CBD products contain the same concentration of CBD.
Calculating the right dose of Cannabidiol may look like a cutscene from the “Beautiful Mind” movie, so we’ll help you out a bit.
Below, we share specific details about CBD dosing for dogs using common strengths and volumes.
1. CBD or Hemp Oil
CBD oil for dogs typically comes in 150, 300, and 600 mg bottles. Here are the basic dosage tips for this kind of CBD.
Here’s a quick reference to how the different CBD concentrations work out in drops.
Yes, You Can Give Your Pets ‘Human’ CBD Oil
Can I give my pet human CBD oil? Any CBD oils that contain less than 0.3% THC is safe for your dog or cat. It doesn’t need to be a pet-specific oil to work.
We often get asked, “Is it safe to give ‘human’ CBD to my dog? What’s the difference between human and pet CBD oil?”
You know CBD is a natural option to help with anxiety, pain, and inflammation… for humans. The compound is non-addictive, non-toxic, and all-natural.
So, when your little friend started having health issues, and drugs didn’t help, you started wondering — ‘what if I give my pet some of the CBD oil I’ve been using?’
It sounds like a tough call, but we’ve got the answers. Let’s take a look at the veterinarian research on the safety of using CBD for pets and whether or not you can give your pet “human” CBD oil.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Can I Give My Dog or Cat “Human” CBD Oil?
- Pet CBD Oil vs. Regular CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
- What Kind of CBD Oil Can I Give My Pet?
- 1. Always Use THC-Free CBD Products
- Average Price Comparison of CBD Oils for Humans Vs. Pet Oils
- 1. CBD May Help Dogs With Osteoarthritis (OS)
- 2. CBD May Reduce Epileptic Seizures in Dogs
Can I Give My Dog or Cat “Human” CBD Oil?
The simple answer is yes — it’s safe to give your pet CBD meant for human consumption — with a few key caveats:
- Don’t give your pets any cannabis oil with more than 0.3% THC (0.2% in Europe)
- Use smaller doses than what’s recommended on the bottle
- Speak with your vet before giving your animal CBD if they have any underlying health concerns
All animals have an endocannabinoid system — including some of the most primitive animals like the sea-squirt. This means that animals also have cannabinoid receptors, a key part of the endocannabinoid system, just like humans do.
Although animals might process CBD in a different way (which is still under research), they have the necessary mechanisms to receive the benefits of CBD. Cannabidiol may be able to relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety in animals, just like in humans.
But, there are some things you need to know before giving your pet CBD meant for human consumption.
Pet CBD Oil vs. Regular CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
In essence, CBD is CBD. The extraction process for both animal and human CBD is the same — both types should be derived from clean, organic cannabis, and contain less than 0.3% THC (0.2% in Europe).
So, CBD products meant for humans is essentially the same thing as CBD oil for pets — with few minor differences in potency and flavor options.
What Kind of CBD Oil Can I Give My Pet?
Not all types of CBD oils are created equal. But, as long as you’re using THC-free, hemp-derived CBD isolate — you can give your pet the same CBD oil that you’re using.
1. Always Use THC-Free CBD Products
It’s common for pets to end up at the vet as a result of marijuana toxicosis after consuming the marijuana stash of their owners. On the other hand, pets with health issues such as arthritis, cancer, and other chronic conditions can use a controlled dose of medical cannabis to relieve symptoms.
Some studies show that THC has low toxicity in animals, while others report fatal cases of marijuana use in pets [1,2]. It all comes down to the individual dose.
The case for giving your pet CBD oil that contains THC is under investigation. Although your pet might benefit from some THC, you should avoid giving your pet marijuana oils with high levels of THC. You should stick to pure, THC-free CBD or hemp oil instead just to be safe.
CBD oil with less than 0.3 percent THC is widely considered safe — it won’t harm your pet.
But a high dose could cause side-effects in smaller animals. This could be an issue because of the unregulated CBD oil market — the levels of THC in a full-spectrum CBD oil for human consumption might be higher than officially claimed by the company.
Another issue is the terpenes present in both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil for human consumption. Terpenes such as limonene, peppermint, pine, or tea tree, are essential oils found in a variety of plants — including marijuana and hemp — can be harmful to pets, even in small amounts.
Here are the three main types of CBD oil for human consumption you will encounter: